“Why did you not obey the Lord?”…
“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said… (1 Samuel 15:19, 20).
But Samuel replied, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like three sin of divination, and arrogance other the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (15:22-23)

I think there’s a lot to be said about obedience to God. I get complacent about my sin, and God’s grace in forgiving me through the sacrifice that ends all sacrifice in Jesus’ death. I don’t take sin as seriously as I should and I make excuses or try to hide my sin.

Saul tried to pretend he had obeyed God fully and his failure to obey cost him dearly. How often do I fail to obey God every day? Not that I try to make up for it by balancing out my sins with good works; I fully know that “it is by grace you are saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9) and “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:21). I do not contribute to the quality of my salvation.

It’s usually when I stop to reflect on how much Christ suffered for my sins and realise the cost of my rebellion that I feel more the weight of sin and gratitude for his love for me (and many).

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse us from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

It really is pretty great to live on this side of the cross.


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